Proto Labs made the announcement at the Advanced Design & Manufacturing Expo in Cleveland (Booth #717).
PolyJet is one of a number of commonly used 3D printing processes. It is a layer-by-layer process, in which the machine jets out droplets of liquid photopolymers onto a build platform. The photopolymers are immediately UV cured after they are laid on the platform. Once the build is complete, the part creator can remove the support structures. The parts are then ready without the need for additional finishing.
PolyJet enables product designers and engineers to make elastomeric and overmolded prototypes without investing in tooling. Think 3D-printed parts comprised of both elastomeric and rigid materials, as well as in multiple colors.
PolyJet materials include multiple Shore A hardnesses of tear-resistant Agilus 30, resulting in increased durability, Proto Labs said.
Parts made through PolyJet have smooth surface finishes. The technology can support creation of complex geometries with flexible features.
“The addition of PolyJet is a testament to our effort to further expand our capabilities in a technology-agnostic manner,” Proto Labs CTO Rich Baker said in a news release. “We firmly believe in providing a variety of manufacturing options so that our customers can choose the best process for their particular application.”
This is the fourth 3D printing technology Proto Labs has added to its services. Other 3D printing technologies in Proto Labs’s wheelhouse include stereolithography, selective laser sintering, and direct metal laser sintering.
The addition of PolyJet represents but another way Proto Labs is seeking to help its customers gain a competitive edge with digital manufacturing. Proto Labs’s proprietary software and digital approach to manufacturing allows its customers to upload a 3D CAD file of their design at protolabs.com and receive an instant quote. Parts arrive within days.
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